• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

It is God’s Work First

God unites us to Himself, draws into relationship with Him.  We become part of the community of believers, the church, because of His work in our lives.  Relationship and initiative, His initiative, become primary when we talk about the assembly or community of God’s people. 

When Jesus said to Peter, “and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” (Matthew 16:18), the emphasis was clearly on God’s initiative: “I will build my church.”  We were lost, but now are found.  We were once not God’s people, but now are the people of God.

That initiative on God’s part is very much a Trinitarian one as well; for we are the people of God, the body of Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit. 

Recognizing that God is behind this whole work, that we are drawn into His community by His initiative of love, immediately frames the expression of this fellowship that should follow.

So, let’s consider this situation again: An older Central Asian man comes to Christ next week through a study which you facilitate.  How, and by what means, will you help him begin to grasp the concept that ‘church’ is first of all a community of believers, defined by their relationship to God and initiated entirely by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

2 Responses

  1. We are incorporated into God’s church by means of being baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ being made one with Him, Who is our head, and one will all who have been so incorporated into His body. We symbolize this covenant relationship by water baptism being incorporated into the local visible church becoming members one of another in loving fellowship joining ourselves together for worship, and ministry one to the other and to the world.

    This is why our Lord gave three essential elements to the disciple-making mandate in Matt. 28 -“in going” to evangelize, “in baptizing” to build churches as His agents, “in teaching” to teach the whole Word to the whole person in the whole context of their circumstances.

    • I love how you respond practically right after I post! A great encouragement. I hope to talk about the “local visible church” in a future post. Thanks for your insightful thoughts.

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